'Everyone has his Lambaréné', Nobel winner Albert Schweitzer said. This, then, is his, with its glossy lakes, fast-flowing rivers, thick green foliage and ingrained sweetness. The town feels somehow kind and gentle, as if the profound humanitarian efforts of Schweitzer changed the character of the land. And his legacy is indeed felt everywhere, from the wonderful, still-operational hospital (which Schweitzer founded in 1924 to treat people with leprosy) to the volunteer-staffed lab that researches malaria and other tropical diseases.
The town is divided into three areas spanning the river, quite close to each other. The near bank has the rewarding Schweitzer Hospital Museum; across the bridge is the island with the main markets, the river port, and Le Tribune, from where shared taxis leave; across another bridge is the lively Quartier Isaac.